HSTAA 209 A: The Unsettling of the Red Continent: American Indian History to 1815

Autumn 2021
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm / CMU 326
Section Type:
Joint Sections:
AIS 209 A
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Secoton.jpg  Left: John White, The Indian Village of Secoton (1585-1593).


 The Unsettling of the

 Red Continent:

 American Indian History

 to 1815

  Professor Josh Reid

  Fall Quarter 2021



Once relegated to the margins of US history, American Indian histories have emerged as important narratives in their own right and as central components to the stories we tell about our own states, regions, and nation. For generations, American Indians have pushed their own priorities and been crucial historical actors in the making of the United States long before this nation came into existence. This course examines the histories of Indigenous peoples of North America from their perspective, up to 1815. During this period of time, many Indigenous North Americans saw a vast “unsettling” of their homelands as Europe expanded west across the Atlantic and fought over the control of this vast continent. Students will explore a range of topics, including the peopling of the Americas; pre-Columbian societies and civilizations; early encounters and exchanges with non-Natives; strategies American Indians used to confront expanding European, US, and Indigenous powers; and ways Indigenous North Americans engaged global markets, diplomacy, and competing empires. The course concludes with the War of 1812, which forever altered the socio-political composition of Native North America.

In this course, students will understand:

  • The diversity of the American Indian experience throughout the history of North America.
  • The ways American Indians engaged global markets, diplomacy, and colonial powers for their own reasons.
  • The similarities and differences among Indigenous interactions with various European powers in colonial America.
  • The important position American Indians occupied during colonial struggles for North America and the creation of the United States.
  • How to interrogate and complicate the notion of victimization of American Indians.
  • How resilient American Indian individuals, communities, and nations adapted and responded to colonialism and its lethal results.

The complete course syllabus is now available.

To schedule to meet with me online for a one-on-one consultation, please email me first (jlreid@uw.edu) -- once we have scheduled a time to meet, use this Zoom link for our office hours session.

Catalog Description:
Course examines the histories of indigenous peoples of North America through the War of 1812. Topics include the peopling of the Americas; early encounters and exchanges; and strategies American Indians used to confront expanding European, American, and indigenous powers. Offered: jointly with AIS 209.
GE Requirements Met:
Diversity (DIV)
Social Sciences (SSc)
Last updated:
May 17, 2024 - 6:15 am